A Guide to Site Selection for US Manufacturers

Site Selection

An Overview of the Site Selection Process

For companies looking to re-shore their manufacturing to the United States, the content below outlines the steps to finding the perfect location for your manufacturing operations with additional insight and guidance provided by third party resources.

You can also download a PDF version of this Guide to the Site Selection Process to print or share.

Phase 1 - Business Plan

As companies embark upon the site selection process, it is imperative the right teams are engaged and that a business plan is created with input from all stakeholders. The business plan is the foundation and the roadmap for the site selection process.


  • Identify internal stakeholders
  • Develop business requirements
  • Determine real estate needs - lease vs. buy

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Phase 2 - Review

Once your business plan is finalized, the next steps are reviewing requirements and identifying the communities that are best suited to your needs. Contact with the state and local economic development organizations begins. This is the lengthiest phase where you are gathering data on communities and real estate. The goal is to narrow down the selection to at least the top 2 states.


  • Review requirements and identify communities
  • Start due diligence on real estate
  • Contact states for additional information (i.e. RFI)
  • Develop financial model - identify costs and incentives

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Phase 3 - Negotiation

In the negotiation phase, due diligence should be near completion on the real estate and respective communities. When the decision is narrowed to at least 2 states, negotiations start to materialize into incentive offer letters. At the end of this phase, your company should have enough information to make an informed site selection decision.


  • Narrow your options to at least 2 states & sites
  • Finalize due diligence on real estate/sites
  • Negotiate incentives with State & Local Governments

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Phase 4 - Select Site & Finalize Deal

Once the final site has been selected, there are a series of steps to complete to ensure the final deal is not jeopardized.

Companies normally accept any incentive offers and receive final approval from the state and local jurisdictions prior to any real estate closing or public announcement. Remember that in order to realize most incentives, there are also annual compliance reporting requirements, so ensure you have identified internal stakeholders to follow through.


  • Accept incentive offers & finalize agreements
  • Finalize real estate deal
  • Identify incentive compliance owners

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